Talking To Me

Yesterday I was talking to Johnny
Or rather, he was talking to me
And when he told me that the kids
Were losing their minds, I said
Well hey, ho, let's go

Yesterday I was talking to Ray
Or rather, he was talking to me
And when he told me girls will be
Girls and boys will be boys, I said
I would also fall for Lola

Yesterday I was talking to David
Or rather, he was talking to me
And when he asked me to tell him
Who took the money? I said
You should stop making sense

Yesterday I was talking to Kate
Or rather, she was talking to me
And when she told me that it
Doesn't hurt her, I said
You and me won't be unhappy

Yesterday I was talking to Damon
Or rather, he was talking to me
And when he told me that he was
feeling heavy metal, I said
Woo hoo, woo hoo

Yesterday I was talking to Joe
Or rather, he was talking to me
And when he asked me if I 
Thought there may be trouble, I said
If you stay it will be double

Yesterday I was talking to Liam
Or rather, he was talking to me
And when he told me that I should
Realize what I've gotta do, I said
You're gonna be the one that saves me


it just occurred to me
 apropos of everything
  that all of this time when
    i thought that i was just
     shitty at communication
      because you could never
       seem to understand what
        i was trying to say that it
         really wasn't me and i realized
          this in the most innocuous of
           ways as we were driving nowhere
          and nothing i said registered
         because you took the call and
        i spent the next forty five minutes
       of our midnight drive listening
      to one side of a two-sided
     conversation and when i turned
    around to take you home you
   seemed surprised and maybe
  even a little relieved but to me
 the light bulb lit over my head as if
i were a cartoon with a great idea

slow train comin’

Everything is so small this year
          intimate and compact
     subdued and somber
               softened and muted

unlike last year which in hindsight
          seems so overblown 
     alive and kicking, confidence
               awash with color and light

and what of the New Year
          uncertain and undetermined
     unsettled and unresolved
               all the world suspended

but in this moment of this year
          with the dogs playing on the carpet
     kids on their way over to open presents
               chill in the air and coffee brewing

it is all to easy to forget that
          it has always been this way
     the not-knowing, not-seeing
               the thrill of the unknown

but the anticipation is different this year
          the more things change
     the unbearable heaviness of
               the loss of faith in everything

gasping for air while breathing freely
          is the order of the day
     where the only solution that makes
               sense is to keep breathing

and like a slow train comin' 'round the bend
          we wait and we wonder exactly 
     what the future will hold, knowing full well
               that everything matters, and nothing does.

Wikipedia Black Hole, part one.

As it turns out, I don't need to be Alice chasing
     the White Rabbit into his burrow to get lost in my own
          private rabbit hole of curiosity and trivia, blindly
     chasing links that interest or amuse me, in much the same
way leafing randomly through a book of art might.

It starts innocently enough - "rabbit hole" leads to
     "burrow" which is a tunnel excavated by any number
          animals - rabbits, chipmunks, prairie dogs, moles -
     and the difference between vertebrate burrows and
those dug by invertebrates is not for the squeamish so

I'm off to learn about subterranean fauna, such as
     stygofauna and troglofauna, and the fascinating
          ecological and environmental classifications of
     each one, and how subterranean fauna have evolved
in isolation due to stratigraphic barriers, and that leads to

the New Zealand Speleological Society and their recreational
     caving activities, promoting cave conservation along with
          its counterparts the British Cave Research Association
     (and how fun would it be to explore caves in the UK!)
and the National Speleological Society, but hey what about

The Crown Minerals Act of 1991? It was here I learned that
     Xena: Warrior Princess (or at least the actress who
          portrayed her, Lucy Lawless) is a New Zealander
     and was opposed to the subsequent passage of the 2013
amendment that promoted increased prospecting and exploration

and also that her middle name is Frances, and that she is a 
     singer who played Rizzo in a Broadway revival of "Grease"
          which incidentally included additional songs written by
     Jon Farrar, the Australian producer who was largely
responsible for one of the albums from my formative years

"Physical" by Olivia Newton-John, who in addition to having a
     phenomenal singing voice, has been awarded both the 
          Order of Australia (AC) and the Most Excellent Order of the
     British Empire (DBE) which might explain why she has never
answered any of the love letters I've sent to her over the years

but neither has the Electric Light Orchestra, whom Livvy 
     (as her friends call her) worked with on the Xanadu soundtrack
          but in their defense, I've never actually written to
     Jeff Lynne or Bev Bevan or Roy Wood, and in actuality
I never wrote to Livvy either, I just said that to make the joke

mid-December, Thursday morning

The yards across the street that encapsulate
the view from my four tall living room windows
are all slightly sloped towards the street that
separates their houses from mine and they
are all facing to the north and this late in the
season the snow from last week still coats their

yards in a blanket of white
while my yard, and those of my neighbors to
the east and west, are mostly exposed again
and the leaves which I neglected to rake before
the storm arrived are once again visible in the
late morning sun and my yard is now golden

orange, in direct contrast to the faded black asphalt
of the street that separates their houses from mine
and as that woman from two blocks over strolls by in
the late morning chill, pushing her stroller with two 
children and three dogs on leashes obediently keeping
pace, she waves and I wave back, her bundled up against

the cold and me in the relative warmth of my living room,
we are both startled by a loud crash as the sun melts
another patch of snow from my roof and it crashes
to the ground with a loud thud! and we both smile at
the temporary cacophony of nature asserting its will
before she trundles on, kids and dogs in tow, mostly likely

to get her steps in.


Are we a puzzle to solve
          or has it all been puzzled out already?
Should I refrain from this exercise
          or has our refrain already been sung?

Are we officially sanctioned
          or will we face sanctions?
Will the divine oversee us
          or has there been some oversight?

Is this all we have left
          or have we left it all behind?
Am I just dust accumulating in your mind
          or have you already dusted away my memory?

Have I seeded your clouds with lustful rain
          or has my passion been seeded from your heart?
Shall I trim your life with my love
          or have your trimmed me from all you hold dear?

Am I resigned to be nothing to you
          or have I been resigned to your training squad?
Are the days moving too fast
          or should I hold fast to us?

Can you help me understand this?
          (sorry, I can't help being vague)
Are we really going anywhere 
          or is this whole thing about to go?

Are we bound for paradise
          or are we bound to fail?
Are we as solid as the proverbial rock
         or has our boat already begun to rock?

(This all strikes me as odd
          as if I'm awaiting my third strike)

Will you wear my love as a badge of honor
          or has it already begun to wear on you?
Are you going to wind me up
          or is this how we were always meant to wind up?

Will we weather this round
          or will we be weathered away?
Are we making history
          or are we history?

Wherein the author has read the Wikipedia page for houseplants

In my next life, perhaps I would like to be

sansevieria trifasciata, sitting happily over
          in the corner soaking up the sunshine
     occasionally enjoying a sip of water
               eating once in the spring
          showing off my white flowers with
much pride, or perhaps

dieffenbachia, a big ol' dumb cane plant
          oh, how fitting a name!
     hiding in the darkness, allowed to snack
               twice a week, sometimes thrice
          waiting for the cat to take a bite and
be silenced! or perhaps

epipremnum, sitting on your windowsill as
          you make lunch, or maybe dinner, not judging 
     you for using too much salt in that
               soup or casserole,  you do you!
          basking in the fluorescent light of
your kitchen, or perhaps

beaucarnea recurvata, ostensibly because I, too,
          love the light but not the heat, and don't
     require excessive hydration, and like me is
               is considered a variety of succulent,
          but mostly, if I were to be truthful, because I have
always wanted a ponytail, or perhaps

ficus elastica, hiding from the world outside
          behind your curtain sheers, needing more
     care in summer than winter, my dark burgundy
               leaves accentuating your decor,
          unique and bold, and to be honest,
hands-off care, but not

spathyphillum, if only because there is almost
          nothing about me that says
peace, but perhaps

aloe vera would suit me best, at your 
          beck and call when you need the
     healing touch of my gooey innards
               although have a care
           and do not judge me by
my thorns alone.

Come at me, bro

I am not a fan of country music
     misogyny isn't really my jam
          but I'm glad it's yours

I don't care for scary horror movies
     life is scary enough and I'm envious
          that yours is less so

I do not enjoy discussing politics
     I can never convince you how wrong
          you are, nor will you convince me

Religious topics are a non-starter
     for me, it is such a highly personal thing to
          believe in an all-knowing Santa Claus

Dogs v. cats is such a silly discussion
     as if neither have anything going for them
          or against them, when it comes down to that

 I do not really care if you deny the fact that
     Die Hard is a Christmas movie equal to none
          we all celebrate the holidays differently

But don't you dare come into my house and declare
     the superiority of raised doughnuts over cake
          because if you do, then you had better be
     well-versed in sign language because you are
          about to catch these hands


 I often dwell
     as I’m wont to do
 on the memory of you, the memory
           of us
 of our first meeting in the
      produce aisle
          of our favorite store
 and lunch afterwards, where 
      I gave you my heart without
           even realizing it 

I often dwell  
      as I’m wont to do 
on the colour and the shape
          of you
the sound of your voice
     the touch of your hand
          the smell of your skin
               the taste of your mouth 
                   our first touch
              our first kiss
         our last kiss

I often dwell
     as I'm wont to do
on how it ended and why
          it had to end
 and how much I’d give to
      have the chance
           to go back in time
 (as if I were a science fiction character
      or the lovelorn protagonist in a movie)
and take you in my arms
           once more
     and look into your eyes
           hands in mine
                bodies pressed together
and tell you how much I would miss you
     if you ever left me
          because I know now
how much I miss you 
     every day
          every night
     and how much I need to
          how much I want to
be with you. 


O! to be so carefree as to be able to 

     curl up on some random spot
          on the rug and ignore the world
     stretch out on a favorite place
          on the sun-drenched wood floor
     wander the carpeted halls with
          no real worries, goals, stress, fear
     gaze lazily out the window until 
          that damn squirrel shows its face again
     bound out the glass door barely flung open
          yelling at the rabbits to clear the yard!
     appear as if a ghost at someone's side
          to receive an affectionate pat on the head
     pad up and down the stairs out of boredom
          (and not some imaginary steps goal)
     announce to the neighbors I'm here!
          from the other side of the backyard fence
     really anything other than
     what I'm doing now.